I’ve been first and I’ve been last. Look at how the time goes past. But I’m all alone at last. Rolling home to you. -Neil Young
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! I’ve been away for a little while. I know you missed me, and I’m sorry for that. I’ll tell you someone who hasn’t been away. I’ll tell you 42-year-young Tim Wakefield has been here. I’ll tell you at season’s end, Tim Wakefield will become the first pitcher in Boston Red Sox’ history to pitch fifteen consecutive seasons. How about that? As good as that is, that’s not why we’re here. Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down? Oh, no let’s go! Tim Wakefield’s going baby! With his win last night, Wakefield is now 11-3. It may not seem like such a big deal to you, but know this: Only two other pitchers had 11 wins at the All-Star break at the age of 42-or-older. Only Warren Spahn for the Braves in 1963 and Phil Niekro for the Yankees in 1984.
I wasn’t around when Lew “Hicks” Moren invented it. I never saw Hoyt Wilhelm throw it. I barely remember Charlie Hough employing it. Wilbur Wood is from my hometown but he was before my time. I’ve seen Tim Wakefield though. I’ve seen Tim Wakefield pitch for a lot of innings. A plethora of innings. A gaggle of innings. A slew of innings. Fourteen-plus years worth of innings. Fourteen-plus years worth of knuckleballs.
You think it’s easy? Willie Stargell doesn’t: “Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor’s mailbox.” And that my friends is what Tim Wakefield did last night. He threw a butterfly with hiccups across the street into the A’s mailbox. All night. With the Yankees win, the Red Sox needed this one. They got it. They got it thanks to Mr. Tim Wakefield. The unsung hero of this ballclub. Roll Sox roll!
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!